The topic of life insurance is always a touchy one. It’s never easy to talk about what happens if you die. But it is a topic that everyone will have to face and hopefully have everything in place during a trying time for one’s family.

One thing to ask yourself is: imagine what would happen if you died yesterday? It’s not easy to think about, and the matter of how your death will affect anyone financially, life insurance isn’t something to think about. But for the rest of us thinking about how you will protect your loved ones is something to think seriously about.

In determining how much life insurance you need, you need to consider what debts you owe, and replace the income for those who will remain. If you are the sole breadwinner in your family, you may need consider more, seeing your death will directly affect everyone.

A thing to ask yourself is: how much of this income will go to person #1. The answer can be difficult, but sometimes you need to trust your gut, or just go with basic math to determine this. A factor to consider in this decision is where are you in life right now? A younger family with a big mortgage, that could be the safety or the goal. For someone later in life it could be for planning an estate, or a legacy to pass on to either a beneficiary or to donate to a charity to cover income tax at death.

The different forms of life insurance are other variables to consider too.  With term life insurance, one is covered for a set term of time. Usually over 10 to 20 years. Depending on age these term policies can often be renewed until you reach a certain age. On the other side of that permanent life insurance continues until your death. Plus most life insurance policies have a savings component that grows as the years pass.

These policies might be a bit expensive up front over time when you build the savings component into it, there is the potential for the policy to pay for itself with that savings that is built up. On that note it is very important to regularly review the insurance because your needs change as time and life goes on.

Major life events such as marriage, birth of children, buying a home, are all key points when you want to review how a life insurance policy fits within your plan.  You don’t necessarily need to change your plan, but it is a very wise choice to revisit it just to make sure if it does need to be upgraded or downgraded, depending on circumstance, its possible.